Cervical cytology - liquid based cytology (thin layer specimen)

Last updated: Monday, 05, April, 2004

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Item Process

Collected using plastic spatula, cervibroom and/or brush into fixative solution. 

Split sample may be prepared by first making conventional slide and washing remainder into solution. 

Wooden spatulas should not be used for collection of thin layer material.


Meta-analysis has shown a small but significant improvement in detection of low grade SIL and high-grade SIL using thin layer technique. 

There is a significant reduction of unsatisfactory smears due to inflammation and poor preservation and a small increase in unsatisfactory smears due to low cellularity. 

Appropriate for use in the screening of asymptomatic women and for investigation of abnormal vaginal bleeding.


As for conventional cervical cytology. 

Interpretation of glandular lesions may be more problematic and subject to greater interpretive variability.


Abulafia O et al. Gynaecol Oncol 2003; 90: 137-144.